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Female fetuses require equal rights

Forgive me for opening today with a sensitive and personal reference. I hope my decision to be so personal (especially at the beginning here) is the right one. I am doing this to draw readers and possibly hold them here for a few minutes of conversation.

Conversations of course go in two or more directions, and require give and take. Who can say? Perhaps a reader here or there will respond to the words that follow via The China Post. I would like that very much.

A couple years ago, I stumbled across a vehement personal attack against me on the Internet in a blog published in Taiwan by someone I do not know. The blog-writer treated me like a punching bag because of columns I had written from time to time about abortion and the value of life.

I didn't mind my reader's disagreement with my views. Even small wheel writers like me are just grateful to have readers, period. I don't expect people to agree with me all the time.

As a matter of fact, I have found over the years that I sometimes change my views, thanks to personal experience, or new information or, yes, confrontation from perspicacious readers. To change in life is very often a healthy and wise thing to do.

The blog-writer was angry not merely at the words I had written in the past about abortion. He was angry with me. He said I was a knee-jerk critic, and that I was neither thoughtful nor sensitive to women's needs. He said it was only natural that I would use my “clerical position” to criticize behavior that my religion teaches is immoral or dehumanizing, or whatever. He implied in his blog that the world would be a lot better off if people like me (rabbis, ministers, priests and so on) stayed out of print and kept our views to ourselves.

I hope my blog-writing friend caught the news that the government Control Yuan expressed concern this week about the shameful number of sex-selective abortions that have occurred recently here in Taiwan. The Yuan strongly criticized government agencies, the Bureau of Health Promotion for one, and the Food and Drug Administration the other, for dragging their feet in investigating how it is that some 3,000 female babies somehow just did not get born in the past year. The China Post covered this story on page 19 on December 8. A rival English paper made it front page news on the same day.

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